The Capsule Wardrobe ~ Wardrobe Building

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases.

Imagine a simplistic approach to organizing your wardrobe, reducing your laundry loads, and enjoying a clutter free, resistance free closet.

Imagine being able to use one of those closet outfit apps, without taking a year to catalogue everything you own.

Think of the confidence you could have if every day you felt great in your clothes.

The time you could save if there was no struggle in deciding what to wear.

Being able to buy and spend money on quality instead of cheap quantity that ends up sitting in your closet.

If you have clothing hoarding habits, imagine freeing your kids from all these issues that come with a cluttered wardrobe.

How different would your life have been if you were taught to shop responsibly, strategically and intelligently for quality items you love.

What could I possibly share with you that can do all these things?

It’s called the Capsule Wardrobe.

Although I’ve only been practicing this type of clothing organization and mindset for about a month, I swear it has been life changing.

If you feel comfortable letting go of clothes you no longer love, perhaps it won’t be as life changing.

But if you’ve been feeling dissatisfied with your closet and your wardrobe, it may be time for a change in your mindset.

After years of looking for a solution, I think this is it. The Capsule Wardrobe.

[headline style=”2″ align=”center” headline_tag=”h2″]What is the Capsule Wardrobe & How to Build One:[/headline]

Capsule Wardrobe ChallengePin

How To Build A Capsule WardrobePin

[content_toggle style=”1″ label=”Wardrobe Issues:” hide_label=”Wardrobe Issues:”]

Nothing sucks the life out of you every morning, like looking into a crammed pack closet and declaring I have nothing to wear.

How is it with all these clean clothes, anything you actually want to wear is in the hamper, needing to be washed.

You know you need to pare down, throw out and donate, but when you try to do that, every piece of clothing you look at, has possibility.

I think it’s pretty safe to say, you’re not at your ideal body weight. Sorry.

And if you are part of that rare few not looking to lose at least those last 10 pounds, then you’re probably not at your ideal body composition.

When sorting through clothes to donate, I end up feeling paralyzed to get rid of anything…. because the thought of, “This might look and feel awesome, if I can just lose those last 10 lbs…” is always running through my head.

But lets get real, it’s been years.

I still have clothes from high school.

Actually, I still have a sweater from grade school.

At this point you can relate or think I’m a crazy hoarder. 🙂

Another reason I hoard clothing, is because I have a skewed idea of how many items are needed to make up a wardrobe.

If I got rid of everything I don’t love, I wouldn’t have enough money to spend on getting a whole new wardrobe, so I thought.

I always wished I could just toss everything out, like on the television show “What Not To Wear”, then go and buy outfits I loved.

But I was taught you go to cheaper trendy stores in the mall or the second hand stores.

You wait for the 50% sale to come around at the Salvation Army and come home with garbage bags of clothes.

Since the cost of the clothing was so cheap and with all those clothes to try on, items never ended up being as good as they were originally in the store.

I’d always have the problem of having too many shirts and no pants to go with them or vice versa.

I wasn’t taught to create outfits or keep outfits in mind when shopping.

I did finally commit to throwing out anything with stains that after washing a dozen times I still couldn’t get out.

Holes, rips or tears where another issue because, “Hey! I can sew.” All these items went into the “I’ll get to it later basket.”

Ever since moving out on my own, over 15 years ago, I’ve known this was not how I wanted to live.

I wanted the Martha Stewart closet, the closets from the organizational magazines.

I’ve tried hanging all my clothes in an organized fashion by clothing type and then by color.

I’ve even printed a color chart to remind me which color order to place the clothing in.

Color Chart for Clothing OrgPin

That of course didn’t last.

It’s only a matter of time after trying to squeeze in a shirt in the right color section and it not fitting that you just say, “F*ck it!

I’m just putting this item at the end of the rack.”

I’d like to say that on a day this issue was really bothering me, I decided I was done once and for all, and set out determined to find a solution.

But no, it was a regular day of scrolling through my Facebook, where a friend had shared an article on how to create a Capsule Wardrobe.

After reading the article, I thought, what a perfect time to try out this mindset of creating a wardrobe with only 37 items.

I’m pregnant! If I have 37 items that currently fit around my belly, I’ll be pretty impressed.

If you’re in a situation where the majority of your clothes don’t quite fit you right now, trying out a Capsule Wardrobe will be pretty painless.

If everything fits you, it might be a little harder to pare down to the things you love.


[content_toggle style=”1″ label=”Creating My Capsule Wardrobe:” hide_label=”Creating My Capsule Wardrobe:”]

I decided of course not to actually throw anything out. Big surprise! I’m still not cured of my clothing hoarding, but I’m learning. I can feel the grip loosening.

I put in garbage bags anything I knew didn’t fit me, which was pretty much anything not labeled maternity clothes.

This left me with just a little over 37 items, then I took out any items that did not fit into spring/summer.

Once I had pared my wardrobe down this much, something switched in my thought process towards clothes.

I acknowledged that even though the number of 37 items seems like way too little at first, it’s probably around the exact number of items I really was wearing, out of the tons of clothes cluttering my closet.


[content_toggle style=”1″ label=”What I’ve learned:” hide_label=”What I’ve learned:”]

After a month of pairing my clothing down to 37 items, my life has been dramatically changed.

I know, I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. My wardrobe is organized.

It looks like the organizational magazines.

Laundry has become not just manageable, but easy!

I’m also motivated to wash a load as soon as there is enough for one, if I let the laundry pile up for too long then I really wouldn’t have anything to wear.

My closet is awesome!

I am starting to use an outfit app, which is perfect for when you’re out shopping.

No more wasted money on things I don’t need.

I know with in my 37 items, which ones I LOVE and which ones I’m not a huge fan of.

Now if I see a sale, I don’t feel the need to get in there and buy a bunch of items that don’t help complete my wardrobe.

This doesn’t mean I will no longer go to second hand stores for clothing either.

It just means when I go I’ll be looking for a specific item.

It might mean I do more shopping online for that unique item I can’t find anywhere else, or it might mean I’ll saunter into a very expensive store I’ve never considered shopping at before, just to buy that one item I’ll love.

I’m really getting to feel how good it is to wear clothes you really love.

My hope is that when I do go back into those garbage bags of clothes, it will be much easier to toss what doesn’t make me feel awesome.

The whole idea of keeping clothes I don’t feel great in, because once I have my ideal body they might look better on me, is just silly and I can see that now.

I’ve learned in this short time that feeling great in your clothes will actually give you extra motivation to exercise and eat better.

Trust me it does.

When you start feeling like a million bucks in your clothes, it creates momentum in your brain, you realize you could look and feel even better by taking care of your body.

This mindset of, less is more when it comes to clothing, has taught me that I really didn’t give up anything, I just got rid of the clutter I wasn’t using anyways.

It’s the 80/20 rule.

You most likely are only wearing 20% of the clothes in your closet, why let the 80% keep distracting you and take up your time.

The time and mental energy I’ve saved has allowed me to do more things in the morning.

Including pull out and organize my jewelry that I never wore.

Now I have enough time to pair the jewelry that I have, to what I’m wearing.

I put on a matching set bracelet, earrings and necklace, my husband asked me where I got that, I said it’s jewelry I had, just hadn’t worn it in a long time.

He said you haven’t worn it in 10 years (that’s how long we’ve been together and he had never seen it).

It’s also reminded me of how good it feels to clean up your stuff, to get organized, to only keep the items you use, make you feel good, and the stuff you love.

When you get rid of the junk and you don’t need so much, you can spend more money on quality.

I’ve realized that I would much rather spend $100 on one item that is going to last and makes me feel awesome, than spending $100 on pretty much what could now be a whole new wardrobe, but would only leave me feeling mediocre.

Buy fewer, better things. It seems almost flippant to just throw this one out there. It’s such a short phrase, but it’s impacted me in the deepest places. We often hear this mantra tossed around, but there’s something that shifts inside when we try to live it. It’s powerful.” ~ Caroline Rector


[content_toggle style=”1″ label=”Kids clothing:” hide_label=”Kids clothing:”]

Once I did this with my clothes, I started looking at my kids clothes.

It’s hard to believe the quantity of kids clothing we have. We have been very blessed with the generosity of our friends passing on their children’s clothing.

But when you have accumulated clothing for two girls from the age of 0 to 5, you really need a practical wardrobe strategy.

The obvious first step was to store or donate all the clothes that both kids have out grown.

I’m baking our last baby now and it’s a boy. Meaning all the cute little girl stuff can go. 🙂

Next separate the clothes from what fits now and what is still too big.

Not the easiest task.

If only the year on the tag really determined the fit.

Once that was all done, I stored the clothes that were too big.

I then bought some plastic bin drawers from Walmart and separated the clothing into shirts, pants, pjs, underwear/socks and shorts/skirts.

All the their spring/summer dresses I hung up.

37 items kind of freaked me out when it came to the kids.

Even though keeping in mind I haven’t actually gotten rid of anything.

All my extra clothes went into garbage bags labeled with duck tape and were thrown into our bedroom closet, pretty accessible if a clothing crisis arose.

The kids clothes that I had decided didn’t go into their Capsule Wardrobe, even though it fit them, went into a dresser upstairs, still very accessible.

Even though I know, because of the season, there is no way they will go through 7 pairs of pants in a week or 7 long sleeve shirts, I still decided on 9 pants and 9 long sleeve shirts, just in case. Kids are messy right? Anything could happen!

Kids Capsule Wardrobe Breakdown:

  • 9 pants
  • 9 Long sleeve shirts
  • 9 short sleeve shirts (some tank tops)
  • 5 Capris
  • 5 Shorts
  • 7 Tights or stretching pants
  • 2 Sweatshirts
  • 7 Button or zipper sweaters
  • And all their summer dresses.

Not including the summer dresses their Capsule Wardrobe magic number is 53.

Although I wouldn’t really count their sweaters, as I keep those by the door with their coats.

So 46 items for making outfits.

When I look at that number 46, and doing this for a month, I can tell you we don’t need even close to this amount.

They have their favorite items.

I have my favorite items for them.

More than half of the clothes haven’t gotten worn.

But the awesome, most important part to me is all the clothes fit into their designated drawers without resistance, without cramming.

My husband can easily find the kids clothes and my 4 year old is enjoying picking out her own outfits.

Now that I’ve caught the simplistic bug, I’m going to pare it back a little, maybe go down to 5 pairs of pants and only 5 long sleeve shirts.

Heck, it’s summer!

I might go crazy and pare it down to 4 pants and 4 long sleeve shirts.

I know only 37 items might sound extreme, but I bet if you try it out you’ll LOVE IT. Let me know how it goes for you!

Check out Caroline Rector spring wardrobe.

Be sure to visit her blog Un-Fancy for more outfit examples and more on this Capsule Wardrobe mindset.

[adguru zoneid=”3″]

Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2015Pin

I really think that you can find everything your need to know about implementing a capsule wardrobe on but if your the type of person who might want to read more first, I’ve found a few books on Amazon.

Note: I haven’t read them so I’m not sure how good they are.

[headline style=”8″ align=”center” headline_tag=”h2″]

Capsule Wardrobe Books on Amazon


How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe: Discover How to Enhance Your Style and Clear Your Mind with Minimalist Wardrobe Design and PlanningFashion Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: Stylish Work12 Simple Separates: 3 Basics + 3 Capsules = 60 Unique outfits. (StyleU)1000 Outfits From Just 30 Pieces - Your Guide To Looking Hot & Fabulous On A BudgetThe T-Shirt & Jeans Handbook: Stylish Upgrades for your Daily Uniform

How To Build Your Capsule WardrobePin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top